Paris: Former world number one Ivan Lendl will end a 16-year exile from tennis by joining the ATP Champions Tour, organisers of the tournaments for former tennis professionals confirmed on Monday.
The eight-times Grand Slam winner from the Czech Republic will make his Tour debut at the Jean Luc Lagardere Trophy in Paris on October 1-3, the scene of his three French Open victories.
The 50-year-od will come face-to-face with the man he defeated to win his first Grand Slam title in the same city in 1984 - John McEnroe.
Since retiring in 1994, Lendl has barely lifted a tennis racquet, preferring to spend his time on the golf course and with his wife and five children.
Lendl’s meeting with McEnroe will revive a rivalry with the man that he beat in the 1984 Roland Garros final which was the American’s best chance of lifting an elusive French Open title.
McEnroe said: “Oh boy, l’m looking forward to it. We had some great matches together but it’s been a long time and he hasn’t played for more than 15 years so I think we need to discuss a few things, both on and off the court!
“I know he’s been working most of the last year to get back into the type of shape he needs to be in, because it doesn’t get any easier as you get older. But we’ll be giving it our all, that’s for sure.”
Also set to compete in the French event is France’s Yannick Noah and Swede Mats Wilander, both former French Open champions.
The six-man field will be rounded off by two players to be announced in the coming weeks.